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First Niagara Said to Hire JPMorgan for Possible Sale of Company

First Niagara Financial Group Inc. is exploring a sale of the firm or other opportunities, according to people briefed on the matter. The bank holding company’s shares rose in extended trading.

First Niagara, based in Buffalo, New York, hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. to advise on possible moves, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. The firm has a market value of about $3.18 billion, based on the number of shares outstanding at the end of the second quarter.